The gentlemen’s game is played by extremely passionate individuals. By playing this sport they create great success stories and some of these players even treat this game as a medium of their existence. These players make use of their full energy in achieving all their cricketing dreams and it is their only interest that separates them others.
On the other hand, certain individuals play this glorious sport in a more considerate manner as cricket is just a part of their journey. These cricketers play the game for a short period. Then they move on from the game and pursue other interests to write new chapters in their life story.
Here is the list of players who left the cricket midway and took up another profession:
1. Zafar Ansari, England – Law
(Photo Source: BCCI)
In 2011 a teenager playing for Cambridge MCCU was hogging the limelight when one of the victims of his 5-wicket haul was the England star, Kevin Pietersen. Ironically it was a young Zafar Ansari who troubled his county side Surrey on that day. Thereafter the left-arm spinner became an integral part of his domestic team with his all-round abilities.
With his rising stocks finally, the England selectors included him in the senior squad and got his debut cap against Ireland. Ansari was part of the England team which travelled to India in 2016 and played 2 Test matches before being sidelined with a back injury. In the following months, he played only two games for Surrey and then suddenly announced his retirement.
He stayed true to his statement where he said that cricket was just a part of his life as he only played 4 internationals. Zafar is one of the few individuals who are equally good at cricket and academics. So now he has preferred law after living out his cricketing dreams.
2. Tatenda Taibu, Zimbabwe – Church duties
Tatenda Taibu. (Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images)
Unlike the present times, the Zimbabwe cricket was its peak when one of their best talent, Tatenda Taibu made his debut in 2001. Since his initial days, the keeper-batsman was made for big things as his first half-century came in the 2003 World Cup tie against New Zealand. Apart from his batting, his athleticism behind the stumps was also remarkable.
Within a couple of years, the short-statured cricketer established himself as an important member of the side. At 21 Taibu became the youngest Test captain of the cricket history when Heath Streak decided to step down. He became the batting mainstay of the side as he piled on close to 5000 runs across formats. In the 2011 World Cup, it was Taibu’s contributions which gave the side multiple victories.
Then out of the blue, he considered moving on from the game in 2012. He termed it as God’s call and started serving churches. One can say that his religious divinity outweighed his love for the game.
3. Omari Banks, West Indies – Singer
Omari Banks. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
The Caribbean land has given some interesting characters to world cricket and one of them is Omari Banks. The all-rounder was the first Anguillan to play Test cricket. After spending his initial years with the domestic team of Leeward islands he made his debut for West Indies in 2003.
In his first international game itself, Banks showed nerves of steel as he picked up a 3 wicket haul and scored a total of 52 runs against the Mighty Aussies. In the following game, he was part of the history when he stroked an unbeaten 47 which helped the side in chasing down the highest 4th innings total of 418. Then for the next two years, he played a total of 15 international ties and subsequently dropped owing to his poor returns.
Banks continued his passion by playing for Leicester in the county circuit but left the game in 2011 to pursue a career in the artistic world. His first song as a professional singer was titled ” Move on ” and it was the exact thing he did after enjoying his cricketing journey.
4. Salil Ankola, India – Actor
Salil Ankola. (Photo Source: Twitter)
In the ’90s the Indian team nurtured various fast-bowling exponents and it saw the emergence of the Maharashtrian cricketer, Salil Ankola. The speedster began his maiden first-class season with a bang as he scalped a total of 27 wickets including three 5-wicket hauls. Immediately his heroics caught the attention of selectors and he was drafted into the side when the team travelled to Pakistan.
He shared his debut with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis but injuries kept him away from the rest of the Test matches. Consequently, he got his ODI cap in the same tour and could only bag 3 wickets in as many games. Following that Salil was not a regular in the playing XI. Sometimes he was even dropped after not playing a single tie in the series and to add to his woe’s injuries also slowed him down.
At the age of 28, he was diagnosed with a bone tumour and surgery prevented him from running. Even after full recovery the speedster announced his retirement and took up acting as his profession. Now he has become a well-known figure in the Indian television and has also acted in a handful of Bollywood films.
5. George Thoms, Australia – Surgeon
George Thoms. (Photo Source: Wikipedia)
In cricketing fraternity there is a term called “One-Test wonder” and it perfectly defines the career of Australian cricketer, George Thoms. The Victorian who once opened the innings for his domestic team was an efficient red-ball cricketer with his classic technique. He made his first-class debut at the age of 21 and it took him 6 years to get into the international side.
Finally, he made his debut against West Indies after scoring more than 500 runs in the 1951-52 Sheffield season. Though he made a total of 44 runs on a tough Sydney pitch it turned out to be his last game for Kangaroos. Thereafter the right-hander sustained his cricketing passion with Victoria and ended up with more than 1100 runs in just 19 games.
Then one fine morning Thoms wrapped up his career to focus on his medical career. He didn’t want to injure his hands which might stall his career as a gynaecologist. He even introduced laser surgery in Australia in the mid-70s and became a successful surgeon. His patience and good motor skills helped him in both occupations.
These cricketers have proved their mettle in multiple professions.
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